LAS VEGAS -- The New England Patriots' record-setting pace
includes the betting odds, too.
The undefeated Patriots were made a 27-point favorite over the
New York Jets in the opening line for Sunday's game at Foxborough,
Mass. The line dropped to 24 on Monday, which would match San
Francisco's record point spread over Cincinnati on Dec. 5, 1993,
according to Keith Glantz, co-author of the Glantz-Culver Line. The
49ers won that game 21-8.
On Dec. 3, New England was a 20-point favorite at Baltimore, a
record for a road team. But the Patriots barely won, 27-24.
New England is 13-0 after routing Pittsburgh on Sunday, while
the Jets are 3-10.
There's much built-up animosity between the teams. Patriots
coach Bill Belichick did not want Eric Mangini, then his defensive
coordinator, to take the Jets' heading coach job in 2006. And New
England was caught using video to spy on Jets assistant coaches
during the season opener in September.
"On the Patriots side, the Jets are the team that turned them
in, and they're going for an undefeated season," Glantz said of
the spying incident that cost Belichick a $500,000 fine, and cost
the team $250,000 and a 2008 first-round draft pick. "So they're
not going to let up. When the Patriots are not playing the elite,
they tend to run up the score. The opponent just can't seem to stop
Still, the spread opened at 27 and went down three points.
"Part of the reason for the drop is the possibility of poor
playing conditions," Glantz said. "If the weather is bad -- ice,
sleet or rain -- it will affect the game. Cold won't affect the
game, it goes more with the field conditions.
"It is very difficult to make a line for this team; I have
never seen a team get such high lines. The public has not gotten
off the Patriots bandwagon."